Biola dedicates new art building

Faculty, staff and students celebrate completion of Bardwell Hall.

Caleb Jonker, News Editor

On Sept. 17, Biola dedicated the new Bardwell building with a chapel service that celebrated the gifts of God, commemorating Bardwell Hall as a new gift to Biola. The service, titled “Extravagant Gifts,” highlighted the history of the art program and the people who contributed to the development of the department.


After President Barry Corey opened with a message of gratitude, professor of art Dan Callis III presented a timeline of the university’s art program. Callis recounted the years of development leading up to the construction of the new building. 

When Callis began teaching for the art program, the department resided in a converted middle school science classroom. The program was then moved to a locker room, where they continued to develop their program, painting walls and converting showers into art studios.

Biola alumnus Isaac Adams reflected on the lack of facilities available at Biola while he was a student. Next, associate professor of photography Kurt Simonson and Department of Art Chair Johnathan Puls expressed their gratitude for the new building. 

Simonson explained that in the past, the caliber of the building never met the caliber of the art program. An art building seemed like a distant dream for years, Puls added.


Corey invited the President’s Administrative Council, adjunct professors and local officials to the stage for the dedication.

Corey proceeded to list his gratitude to the donors who funded Bardwell Hall and highlighted some of the newly donated art pieces that now hang in the building.

California state Sen. Bob Archuleta presented Corey with a certificate in recognition of the re-dedication of Bardwell Hall. The certificate recognized Biola for excellence in providing students with the chance to improve and harness skills through use of the Bardwell art building. 

“Learning begins sometimes with just one building, one brick, but one love of God and one love of the Spirit, and it is truly here today,” Archuleta said.

Those on stage stepped forward for the ribbon cutting which was met with a round of applause as dancers threw confetti into the air. 

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